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Publication numberUS4750271 A
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 07/098,850
Publication dateJun 14, 1988
Filing dateSep 21, 1987
Priority dateSep 21, 1987
Fee statusLapsed
Publication number07098850, 098850, US 4750271 A, US 4750271A, US-A-4750271, US4750271 A, US4750271A
InventorsEric L. Ericksen
Original AssigneeEricksen Eric L
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Template for locating electrical outlet boxes
US 4750271 A
Abstract
A template for use in positioning an electrical outlet box or switch box with respect to a building stud. The template releaseably supports the electrical box at a selected height and position forwardly of the face of the vertical stud.
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Claims(16)
I claim:
1. An apparatus for use in positioning an electrical box such that the electrical box can be secured in place by fasteners, the electrical box including a pair of opposed sidewalls, a bottom and an open face, the apparatus for positioning the electrical box including:
a base including a channel having a rear wall and a pair of spaced apart sidewalls projecting forwardly from the rear wall, a first flange projecting outwardly from a forward edge of one of the sidewalls, the flange having a rearward surface,
means for releaseably clampingly engaging an electrical box, the means for clampingly engaging including a clamp member supported by the base, the clamp member including a portion movable toward and away from a sidewall of the base to releaseably clamp a sidewall of the electrical box against the sidewall of the base,
spring means for biasing the clamp member into engagement with the sidewall of the electrical box, and
means for supporting the base in elevated relation, the means for supporting the base including a vertical support member.
2. An apparatus as set forth in claim 1 wherein the clamp member engages the sidewall of the electrical box such that the electrical box is positioned against the sidewall of the base and against the rear wall of the first flange.
3. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 and further including a vertically extending sleeve or tube fixed to the base between the sidewalls, the vertical support member housed in the sleeve, the sleeve and base being supported on the vertical support member for selective vertical slideable movement, and detent means for releaseably locking the sleeve in a predetermined position on the vertical support member.
4. An apparatus as set forth in claim 3 wherein the detent means includes a notch formed in the vertical support member and spring means supported by the sleeve and engageable with the notch.
5. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 wherein the base further includes a lower portion, and further including a pair of flanges projecting outwardly from opposite sides of the lower portion of the base, the flanges being generally coplanar with the base, and the flanges each having an upper surface portion adapted to support the bottom of the electrical box when the electrical box is positioned against the sidewall of the base and against the rearward surface of the first flange.
6. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 and further including means for supporting the clamp member for movement between a clamping position wherein the clamp member secures an electrical box against a sidewall of the base and a release position, the means for supporting the clamp member including a vertically extending slot in the base and housing a portion of the clamp member.
7. Apparatus as set forth in claim 1 and further including a second flange projecting outwardly from a forward portion of a second sidewall, the second flange having a rearward surface adapted to support an electrical box on an opposite side of the base, and a second clamp member supported for pivotal movement between a position wherein the second clamp member can engage an electrical box and a release position.
8. Apparatus as set forth in claim 7 wherein said spring means comprises a compression spring positioned between said clamp members and applying outward force on said clamp members away from one another.
9. An apparatus for use in positioning an electrical box against a vertical stud having vertical sides and a planar face and such that the electrical box can be secured in place against a side of the stud by fasteners, the electrical box including a pair of opposed sidewalls, a bottom and a face, the face of the electrical box being positioned forwardly of the planar face of the stud, the apparatus for positioning the electrical box including:
a base including a channel having a rear wall adapted to be positioned against the planar face of the stud, the rear wall having a width approximately equal to the width of the face of the stud, and a pair of spaced apart sidewalls projecting forwardly from the rear wall, a first flange projecting outwardly from a forward edge of one of the sidewalls, the flange having a rearward surface, the rearward surface being spaced forwardly of the face of the stud,
means for releaseably clampingly engaging an electrical box such that a sidewall of the electrical box will be positioned against one of the vertical sides of the stud and with a portion of the face of the electrical box positioned against the rearward surface of the flange, the means for clampingly engaging including a clamp member supported by the base, the clamp member including a portion movable toward and away from a sidewall of the base to releaseably clamp a sidewall of the electrical box against the sidewall of the base,
spring means for biasing the clamp member into engagement with the sidewall of the electrical box, and
means for supporting the base in elevated relation, the means for supporting the base including a vertical support member.
10. An apparatus as set forth in claim 9 wherein the clamp member engages the sidewall of the electrical box such that the electrical box is positioned against the sidewall of the base and against the rear wall of the first flange.
11. Apparatus as set forth in claim 9 and further including a vertically extending sleeve or tube fixed to the base between the sidewalls, the vertical support member housed in the sleeve, the sleeve and base being supported on the vertical support member for selective vertical slideable movement, and detent means for releaseably locking the sleeve in a predetermined position on the vertical support member.
12. An apparatus as set forth in claim 11 wherein the detent means includes a notch formed in the vertical support member and spring means supported by the sleeve and engageable with the notch.
13. Apparatus as set forth in claim 9 wherein the base further includes a lower portion, and further including a pair of flanges projecting outwardly from opposite sides of the lower portion of the base, the flanges being generally coplanar with the base, and the flanges each having an upper surface portion adapted to support the bottom of the electrical box when the electrical box is positioned against the sidewall of the base and against the rearward surface of the first flange.
14. Apparatus as set forth in claim 9 and further including means for supporting the clamp member for movement between a clamping position wherein the clamp member secures an electrical box against a sidewall of the base and a release position, the means for supporting the clamp member including a vertically extending slot in the base and housing a portion of the clamp member.
15. Apparatus as set forth in claim 9 and further including a second flange projecting outwardly from a forward portion of a second sidewall, the second flange having a rearward surface adapted to support an electrical box on an opposite side of the base, and a second clamp member supported for pivotal movement between a position wherein the second clamp member can engage an electrical box and a release position.
16. Apparatus as set forth in claim 15 wherein said spring means comprises a compression spring positioned between said clamp members and applying outward force on said clamp members away from one another.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to templates for positioning electrical switch boxes and outlet boxes such that the electrical boxes can be mounted in the proper position during construction.

BACKGROUND PRIOR ART

Prior art devices for positioning electrical switch and outlet boxes are illustrated in the Briggs U.S. Pat. No. 2,956,798, issued Oct. 18, 1960; the Hodgson U.S. Pat. No. 2,962,281, issued Nov. 29, 1960; the Gianota U.S. Pat. No. 2,990,172, issued June 27, 1961; and the Estep U.S. Pat. No. 3,601,386, issued Aug. 24, 1971. Attention is also directed to the Hull U.S. Pat. No. 3,875,669, issued Apr. 8, 1975; the Smith U.S. Pat. No. 4,290,591, issued Sept. 22, 1981; and the Tarr U.S. Pat. No. 3,954,717, issued May 4, 1976.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention comprises an improved template for use in mounting an electrical outlet box or electrical switch box. The apparatus embodying the invention includes an improved means for mounting the outlet boxes and the like such that they can be conveniently positioned in a proper location with respect to a vertical stud and conveniently nailed in place or otherwise fastened to the stud. The template also provides means for mounting the box at a uniform height on a vertically extending stud and in a proper fore and aft position with respect to the forward face of the stud. The template also includes an improved means for releaseably gripping the outlet box such that it can be conveniently inserted into the template and the template easily removed once the electrical box is fixed in place.

Various features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description of a preferred embodiment, from the drawings and from the claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an apparatus embodying the invention and supporting an electrical outlet box adjacent a vertical stud.

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the apparatus illustrated in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged exploded view of apparatus illustrated in FIG. 1.

Before describing a preferred embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the details of construction and to the arrangement of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein is for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Illustrated in FIG. 1 is an apparatus embodying the invention and for use in positioning an electrical outlet or switch box 10 against a vertical stud 12 in the proper orientation such that the outlet box can be secured by nails 14 to the side 16 of the vertical stud and such that the outlet box 10 is in the desired vertical position and is positioned forwardly with respect to the stud 12 at a proper forward spacing with respect to the vertical forward face 18 of the stud.

The apparatus embodying the invention includes a base or a base plate 20 adapted to be positioned against the forward face 18 of the stud 12, the base including a channel portion defined by a planar rear wall 22 and a pair of spaced apart sidewalls 24 extending forwardly from the sides of the rear wall 22. The base 20 also includes a pair of flanges or ears 26 projecting outwardly from the forward portions of the sidewalls 24, each of the flanges 26 being planar and having rearward planar surfaces 28 perpendicular to the sidewalls 24 of the base. The planar rear wall 22 has a planar rearward surface adapted to engage the forward face 18 of the stud 12 and has a width approximately equal to the width of the stud. The flanges 26 are spaced forwardly from the rear wall 22 by a distance approximately equal to the desired distance between the forward face of the stud 12 and the forward face of the outlet box 10 to be secured to the stud.

Means are also provided for securing outlet boxes to one or both of the sidewalls 24 of the base plate 20, and as to each outlet box, a portion of the face of the outlet box is positioned against the rearward surface 28 of one of the flanges 26 of the base. In the illustrated arrangement, the means for securing the outlet box 10 in place includes a pair of clamp members 30, one of the clamp members 30 being positioned on one side of the base and another of the clamp members being positioned on an opposite side of the base. Each of the clamp members 30 is pivotally joined to the base adjacent a forward portion of the sidewall 24 and is pivotally movable such that a rearward portion 32 of the clamp member is movable toward and away from the outside surface of the sidewall 24. More particularly, in the illustrated arrangement, each of the outwardly extending flanges 26 includes an elongated vertically extending slot 36 adapted to house a central portion of one of the clamp members 30 so as to pivotally support that clamp member. Means are also provided for resiliently biasing the ends 32 of the clamp members into clamping engagement with the sidewalls 24 of the base. In the illustrated arrangement, each clamp member 30 includes a forwardly projecting end 38, and a compression spring 40 is provided between the forward projecting ends 38 of the pair of clamp members 30 for forcing them outwardly away from one another.

Means are also provided for supporting the base 20 and the clamp members 30 for vertical adjustable movement with respect to the vertical stud 12 and such that the outlet box 10 is supported in the proper vertical position on the stud 12. The supporting means includes a central vertically extending sleeve or tube 44 fixed to a central portion of the planar rear wall 22 of the base 20 and having a vertical longitudinal axis. In one form of the invention, the sleeve 44 can be welded to the rear wall 22 equidistant the sidewalls 24 of the base. The sleeve 44 includes central bore 46 adapted to slideably house a linear vertically extending support pipe or tube 48 and such that the base 20 is slideably supported on the pipe or tube 48 for selective vertical movement. Detent means are also provided for releaseably supporting the base 20 on the tube 48 in a selected vertical position. In the illustrated arrangement, the detent means includes a spring or clip 50 surrounding a portion of the sleeve 44 and including a portion housed in a horizontal slot 52 cut in the sleeve 44. The vertical pipe 48 can include one or more complementary horizontal slots 54 cut into its surface and adapted to house the spring 50 when the base 20 is in the selected vertical position on the pipe 48. In operation, if the free end 58 of the spring 50 is pulled outwardly away from the pipe 48, the sleeve 44 and base 20 will be freely slideably movable on the vertical pipe 48.

Means are also provided for positioning the outlet box 10 vertically with respect to the base 20. This means includes a pair of tabs 60 extending outwardly from a lower portion of the rear wall 22 and being generally coplanar with the rear wall. The tabs 60 each include an upper surface 62 adapted to support the bottom of the outlet box 10 when the outlet box 10 is held in place by one of the clamp members 30.

In operation of the apparatus shown in the drawings, an outlet box or switch box 10 can be inserted between the end 32 of a clamp member 30 and the opposed sidewall 24 of the base 20 and with the bottom of the outlet box positioned on the upper edge 62 of one of the outwardly projecting tabs 60. The rear wall 22 of the base 22 is then positioned against the forward face 18 of the stud 12 and with a side 16 of the outlet box positioned against a side of the vertical stud. The nails 14 in the upper surface of the outlet box 10 can be driven into the stud 12 to secure the outlet box in place.

Various features of the invention are set forth in the following claims.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2956798 *Apr 27, 1959Oct 18, 1960Uniprod CorpElectrician's hand tool for positioning switch boxes and the like
US2962281 *May 20, 1955Nov 29, 1960Leonard L HodgsonMounting device for outlet boxes
US2990172 *Sep 23, 1958Jun 27, 1961Gianotta MarioDevice for locating the position for mounting a gem box or the like
US3436070 *May 31, 1966Apr 1, 1969Charles H UtleyJig for electrical outlet boxes
US3601386 *Sep 15, 1969Aug 24, 1971John W EstepJig for positioning electrical boxes
US3751026 *Dec 7, 1971Aug 7, 1973H StickneyJig box for holding a switch box to a wall stud
US3875669 *Apr 22, 1974Apr 8, 1975Donald G HullElectrical outlet box positioning device
US3954717 *Jun 10, 1974May 4, 1976Tarr Charles RDevice for use in attaching outlet box to a stud
US4181295 *Jul 31, 1978Jan 1, 1980Duffy Eugene PBox setting tool
US4290591 *Sep 15, 1980Sep 22, 1981Smith Sylvester JHand tool for holding electrical outlet boxes during installation to a stud or other structural member
US4479639 *Sep 30, 1982Oct 30, 1984Kane Michael WTool for positioning electric outlet boxes
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4850115 *Jun 13, 1988Jul 25, 1989Fbn EnterprisesTool for positioning electrical outlet and junction boxes
US4890391 *Feb 7, 1989Jan 2, 1990Donald WarrenCommercial electrical alignment box tool
US5072523 *Dec 24, 1990Dec 17, 1991Dickson Product Development, Inc.Electrical box mounting tool
US5351460 *Oct 25, 1991Oct 4, 1994Herman SmallElectrical box locator
US5361509 *Aug 27, 1993Nov 8, 1994Wheeler Sr Charles HElectrical box installation tool
US5491901 *Dec 1, 1994Feb 20, 1996Parrino; Peter A.Mechanical depthsetting device
US5813130 *May 5, 1997Sep 29, 1998Macdowell; Robert P.Electrical gem box leveling template
US5942871 *Apr 2, 1996Aug 24, 1999Nikon CorporationDouble flexure support for stage drive coil
US5992036 *Dec 29, 1997Nov 30, 1999Cannelli, Jr.; VictorTool for installing electrical outlet boxes
US6055736 *Jun 9, 1998May 2, 2000Gaston; Claire F.Locating device for use with drywall
US6220317Oct 20, 1999Apr 24, 2001Pass & Seymour, Inc.Router template assembly
US6233838 *Nov 12, 1998May 22, 2001Robert L. FalwellApparatus for holding, locating and dispensing electrical boxes
US6725551 *Nov 27, 2001Apr 27, 2004Warren M. SuttonApparatus and method for transferring target points from one surface to another
US6818824Mar 19, 2004Nov 16, 2004Cooper Wiring Devices, Inc.Wiring device ganging tool
Classifications
U.S. Classification33/613, 33/DIG.10, 269/904
International ClassificationH02G3/12, B25B9/00, B25B5/06
Cooperative ClassificationY10S269/904, Y10S33/10, B25B5/06, B25B9/00, H02G3/125
European ClassificationB25B9/00, B25B5/06, H02G3/12F2
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Aug 15, 2000FPExpired due to failure to pay maintenance fee
Effective date: 20000614
Jun 11, 2000LAPSLapse for failure to pay maintenance fees
Jan 4, 2000REMIMaintenance fee reminder mailed
Dec 7, 1995FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 8
Nov 4, 1991FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4